Chicago Botanic Garden corpse flower struggling to open

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CHICAGO — After days of waiting, Spike the corpse flower appears to be too tired to open.

More than 50,000 people have visited the Chicago Botanic Garden hoping to witness the rare event of the corpse flower, formally known as titan arum, blooming, as well as to smell its rotten stench.

The extremely rare plant has been growing at the garden for 12 years, and it recently showed signs of being ready to bloom. But so far, it hasn’t happened.

Now, horticulturists say Spike probably doesn’t have enough strength to open on its own.

At 10 a.m. Sunday, a three-person team will cut Spike open and harvest its pollen.

People can watch the events unfold on the Botanic Garden’s live web cam.

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